Unpacking Feedback - How to
Did you ever receive feedback that cut too deep, too close or simply felt untrue?
If you put yourself out there, tried something new, applied for a job, chances are that you got feedback and that some of it didn't resonate with you.
It can be discouraging and it may slow down your progress. You may even consider giving up!
Please don't! Feedback is not about you really, it's based on the bias and priorities of the person providing you with that feedback. Especially during interviews!
In my latest blog post, I explained in details why feedback is not about you. Check it out and come back after reading it!
I'm going to share with you something extra that I haven't published online yet...
What I mean with unpacking feedback is the process to:
1. Separate your personal feelings from the content
2. Identify the bias of the person providing the feedback
3. Identify actionable items
4. Decide which ones you want to implement
5. Discard the rest
The first point is not easy, I understand that. However, realising that what you feel is perfectly normal and acknowledging that your inner critic will have a field trip telling you "I told you so" .... will help you to avoid the trap created by your brain monkey and distinguish a bruised ego (and sensibilities!) from real concrete actionable items.
Your interviewers are biased, your boss is biased, your friends are biased... and you guessed it, you are biased.
It's fine as long as you are aware of it. For instance, I'm biased toward dogs, I love animals but dogs really win it for me! I'm very aware of it and you shouldn't invite me to judge your "vote the best animal" competition!
More often though, we are not aware of our biases, they are ingrained in our way of thinking, acting, evaluating other people.
Hiring managers, decision makers in the corporate world, clients you really want to work with, have bias as well and you can't always know them in advance, not even for an internal application.
So what can you do about it?
Research your contact/perspective client ahead of the meeting if possible. LinkedIn should offer you a decent overview. You can see if they worked abroad, changed companies, what type of studies they had.
For instance, if they recently earned a new certificate or degree, you can imagine that they care about ongoing education.
If they made strategic career changes, you can assume they will appreciate your career development plan. Google might also show you more personal details but also articles published will give you a fuller picture of their point of views on specific topics.
Cyberstalking you say? I call it RESEARCH, my dear! We are using only publicly available information ;)
So feedback is really about THEM and their priorities, not you or your services.
There may be some useful golden nuggets in the feedback you received. What is aligned to your vision? Was the feedback provided by an ideal client? Can you implement it now? Should you implement it?
Everyone and their dogs have an opinion. It doesn’t mean that you need to listen to all of them. You are the person who knows the most about your business so you need to be the decision maker and … well, decide what you want to take in from that feedback and to what you want to say “thanks but no thanks” and move on with your business.